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Date: March 8, 2024
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By Javiera Altamirano
Europe

International Women’s Day: Leaders in eMobility raise their voices and invite the female population to join the sector

While more and more women are entering the electromobility sector, there are still barriers they must overcome. The lack of studies in engineering careers and the stigmatization of opinions are some of the difficulties preventing their participation.
Women´s day

Over the years, women have begun to be part of sectors from which they were previously relegated, and have even managed to take on job roles historically assumed by men.

However, female participation remains low.

According to a report from the European Parliament, published on July 18, 2023, at that time the average percentage of women working in the transport sector across the European Union was around 22 per cent, although these values vary considerably between subsectors (road, air, and maritime) and member states.

Additionally, the report highlights that “women experience more harassment and sexual violence in transportation than men, which likely constitutes one of the reasons for their limited representation in this sector.”

To encourage female participation in jobs related to electromobility, Mobility Portal Europe speaks with some leaders.

How to encourage the presence of women in senior positions?

Auste Pranckute, Co-founder of Stuart Energy.
Auste Pranckute, Co-founder of Stuart Energy.

More and more women are beginning to take on senior roles that were traditionally held by men, although this percentage remains significantly lower.

The automotive industry has been ruled by men for ages, so for women founders, entrepreneurs, CEOs, and others, it is really hard to enter this market,” laments Auste Pranckute, Co-founder of Stuart Energy.

While Pranckute claims not to have felt judged due to gender issues, she acknowledges: “I did feel that someone was judging me or my opinion because I am a woman.”

In this regard, she explains that there is often “a misconception that women cannot have really strong and professional opinions in this field.”

Katarzyna (Kasia) Sobótka, Investment Manager in E-mobility at Claritas Investments.
Katarzyna (Kasia) Sobótka, Investment Manager in E-mobility at Claritas Investments.

Katarzyna (Kasia) Sobótka, Investment Manager in E-mobility at Claritas Investments, shares Pranckute’s vision: “The main barriers to entering the electromobility and automotive sectors are the very masculinized environments.”

And she shares her own experience: “When you attend a conference, you are usually the only woman, and sometimes you feel like you don’t belong to this group.”

Therefore, to promote greater participation in the industry, Sobótka proposes that companies “put more effort into diversity and inclusion.”

Fortunately, the Investment Manager was promoted by her boss.

“When he had the opportunity to choose someone to take on a managerial position in the electromobility department, he believed in my technical and social skills, in my empathy, and in my ability to deliver results,” she comments.

In this sense, Sobótka recognizes that a fundamental aspect for women to occupy more high-ranking positions in the industry has to do with education: “They must take engineering courses and then start in junior positions to be able to grow and develop their careers.”.

Laura Goncalves, General Manager for Spain at Powerdot.
Laura Goncalves, General Manager for Spain at Powerdot.

Laura Goncalves, General Manager for Spain at Powerdot, also emphasizes the importance of studying related careers.

“There are fewer women with technical or engineering degrees, and in electromobility, there are usually more positions looking for that type of career or background,” she acknowledges.

“Unfortunately, only about 30 per cent of engineering positions have women today,” she adds.

On the other hand, Powerdot’s General Manager mentions “exposure” as another central issue.

“Sometimes, women naturally do not seek out these types of positions or are not exposed to them. Here, there is a big challenge for companies, to find ways to encourage them to apply and explore these roles. This challenge exists in all sectors,” she states.

Women in the sector invite you to join

Daniela Märkl, Chief Communications Officer (CCO) at Juice Technology.
Daniela Märkl, Chief Communications Officer (CCO) at Juice Technology.

When asked what she would say to those considering joining electromobility, Daniela Märkl, Chief Communications Officer (CCO) at Juice Technology, states: “Do it, you can do it and you should do it.”

“Maybe it’s the only chance you’ll have in your life to be part of the development of a new industry. There’s no reason why you shouldn’t do it, start your own journey in electric mobility,” she adds.

Goncalves agrees with Märkl’s stance: “It’s a super interesting sector and it’s growing. Therefore, we have the opportunity to be part of it when it’s at such a decisive and defining moment.”

Meanwhile, Sobótka emphasizes: “If you’re considering joining the eMobility sector, don’t hesitate. You will turn the fossil-dependent world into a low and zero-emission world. Apply for that job and change the world.

Finally, Pranckute comments: “Women must be brave, follow their true calling, participate, and get involved in electromobility and the energy sector, because it’s truly a very interesting place to work.”

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